Blacking the Profession

William J. Blasi, American Renaissance, July 2000

Medgar Evers College is one of many City University of New York (CUNY) campuses with an open admissions policy. This means it accepts anyone from anywhere who has the equivalent of a high school diploma, and therefore does not attract smart, ambitious students. Both the faculty and student body are overwhelmingly black, and this produces an “academic” environment receptive to unusual claims.

“What would the world be like without black people?” began a speech to students by the college’s Provost, Kofi Lomotey, which was broadcast over New York City educational television in January. Mr. Lomotey was recounting “Theo’s Story,” about the many things we take for granted in our lives that would never have existed had they not been invented by black people.

Theo’s mother explains to him that without the crucial contributions of black people he wouldn’t be able to brush his hair, wear shoes, write a letter, or have a clean floor.

Theo learns that blacks with American names invented the comb, hair brush, dustpan, mop, shoe making machine, clothes dryer, pencil sharpener, fountain pen, typewriter, lawn mower, automobile, automatic transmission, traffic light, refrigerator, air conditioner, elevator, mail drop box, and many other things. Theo–and the students of Medgar Evers College–also learn that a black was the first to perform open-heart surgery.

Presumably, Chinese royalty of more than 2,000 years ago were without combs and brushes since it was African Americans who invented them. Also, given that hair brushes for people with soft, straight hair are not much use on kinky African hair, all non-blacks should be grateful to Liddy O’Newman, the black woman who allegedly invented hair brushes suitable for white people.

Likewise, the ancient Greeks and Romans must always have had dirty floors, since mops and brooms had not yet been invented by American blacks. But even assuming that blacks really had invented some of these things, it’s hard to understand why a people would be so proud to have invented the dustpan. It is impossible to imagine an Italian or a Frenchman crowing that his people had invented the ashtray or the spittoon.

Why even bother to call some of these things inventions? A mail drop box is hardly a monumental breakthrough, and someone would sooner or later have come up with something to serve its purpose.

As it turns out, it is not easy to find out who invented the lawn mower or the pencil sharpener, but I did research some of the things Mr. Lomotey mentions and not one was invented by a black. Alexander Miles did not invent the elevator–or anything else as far as I can tell. The first elevator with an automatic safety device to prevent it from falling if the cable snapped was designed and installed by Elisha Graves Otis in 1852.

It was a German engineer Carl von Linden, not the black John Standard who in 1876 patented the process of liqui-fying gas that is a basic refrigeration technology. Stuart Cramer and Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner in 1906. In the 1920s Swedish engineers Carl Munters and Baltaz von Platen introduced refrigeration without moving parts. Mr. Lomotey’s Fred Jones seems to have had nothing to do with any of these things. I was unable to find a reference to Dr. Daniel Hale Williams as the first open-heart surgeon, though the Encyclopaedia Britannica lists 20 other pioneers in the field.

That an administrator at a state-funded college should get away with outright fabrications is a logical consequence of open admissions and affirmative action. If there are essentially no standards, the only yardstick is fidelity to an agenda.

A different example of what has replaced standards is the large number of non-white New York City public schools that are deliberately staffed with non-white teachers. Many of them were “socially promoted,” or passed on to the next grade despite failing work, and are not certified to teach. They can take the certification test over and over, and more than 400 teachers have failed four, five, even six years in a row–but still get satisfactory evaluations as teachers. They are satisfactory because they are the right race and promote the right racial message.

Medgar Evers College was sending the same message on Nov. 20, 1999, when it sponsored a six-hour forum on the PBS television series, Wonders of the African World. The host of the panel Clinton Crawford and historian Jack Felder appeared in African costumes for discussions that were once again televised. (It is amusing to see blacks in the alleged attire of their ancestors–most of whom actually wore nothing to speak of. One never sees spokesmen for Mexico in sombreros and ponchos, and even ambassadors from African countries wear suits and ties.)

Mr. Felder said he had a Ph.D. and teaches in the New York City school system. He said the PBS series, which already pushes credibility with its claims for African accomplishment, is really only a hint of real black prowess. He called the author of the series, Henry Louis Gates of Harvard, a “Negro,” which Mr. Felder defined as a false black co-opted to serve white interests. He criticized Mr. Gates for proposing that black Africans ruled Egypt for only 150 years and insisted that blacks established Egypt 13,500 years ago and ruled it throughout the period of the pharaohs.

Mr. Felder also reported that King James of England had the Bible translated into English by William Shakespeare. The proof is to be found in Shakespeare’s signature in Psalm 46. Verse three contains the words “the mountains shake” and verse nine the words “cutteth the spear in sunder.”

Mr. Felder also announced what he called a “bombshell,” revealing that although this fact has been obliterated from “whitewashed” history books, the first president of the United States was a black man, John Hanson. Hanson, explained Mr. Felder, is shown on the two-dollar bill along with Benjamin Banneker, the early black surveyor and almanac writer. On the back of the bill there is an engraving of John Trumbull’s painting, “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence,” which portrays the signers. Neither Hanson, Banneker, nor any black is among them.

John Hanson did represent Maryland in the Continental Congress and in 1781 was elected “President of the United States in Congress Assembled,” an office he held for one year. He is sometimes referred to as “the first president of the United States,” but he was a congressional presiding officer and had none of the powers of the president under the Constitution, which was not ratified until 1787.

That much is easy enough to find out, but it is not so easy to prove that a relatively obscure historical figure was not black. The readily-available books on the revolutionary period are silent as to Hanson’s race. Fortunately, I came across a book on the colonial history of Charles County, Maryland, where John Hanson lived (The Price of Nationhood: the American Revolution in Charles County, by Jean B. Lee, 1994). It mentions Hanson’s problem with a runaway slave in 1782, but that is not proof of whiteness, since there were a few free blacks who held slaves. The book contains no portrait of John Hanson, but it does have one of his brother, Samuel–who is white.

It is unlikely, of course, that any student at Medgar Evers College would ever look into what Mr. Felder was claiming, and if he did, would probably only conclude that any suggestion Hanson was white was just part of the great cover-up of black accomplishment. The students were doubtless convinced Mr. Felder was brilliantly exposing “the white man’s lies.”

At the end of the interview, Mr. Felder said blacks must be educated by other blacks. He said America is not going to encourage the development of an African historian because “to make a true African historian is to make an enemy.” It is good that this man, who considers himself a true African historian, had the candor to admit he is an enemy of America. Of course, the media, the politicians, and the liberals will never admit that Mr. Felder and Medgar Evers College are enemies. No matter how many riots, gang rapes, murders, carjackings and muggings there are; no matter how many tax dollars are spent to support welfare mothers and criminals, no matter how many absurd lies are told about our history and culture, whites will always be at fault and must suffer the consequences. We can consider this the new white man’s burden.

Provost Lomotey feels no embarrassment in boosting the self-esteem of his people with fictional accounts of history. The students at Medgar Evers College–as well as those of many other CUNY campuses–will graduate thinking that half the world’s geniuses were black and that today’s civilization owes its existence to the efforts of Africans. They will believe that the “white man” has conspired to hide African accomplishments as part of his effort to “subjugate” blacks. New York City is, indeed, educating enemies of the people who built this country. Given that forces are at work that will reduce whites to a minority in 40 or 50 years, we can expect that the racial and political agenda of New York City–now one of the biggest populations of Third-World people on earth–will become the national agenda.

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